Calendar Updated for 2011

Take a moment and check out the calendar on the site. Lots of events have been added for 2011. If you have a barefooting event that you want listed, send it to wedge [at] talesfromthefoot [dot] com.

I’m anxiously waiting for the Madison lakes to melt so I can get my boat in the water for that first run of the year. The weather hit near 50 here today, which will work some wonder on that sheet of ice covering Lake Monona.

Alabama River Barefoot Challenge is Oct 2

I just found out about this event courtesy of the USA Water Ski E-Blast Newsletter. The Colonel Biggs Water Ski Show Team will be hosting the Alabama River Barefoot Challenge on Saturday, October 2nd.

The format is a 55 mile barefoot endurance race. Driver meeting is scheduled for 6:30a, boat launch at 6:45a and the race kicks off at 7:30a. Awards are schedule to go from 11a-noon followed by a cookout and then an afternoon of water skiing, barefooting, and what sounds like an impromptu figure-8 tournament.

Check out the team’s website or 2010 Alabama River Barefoot Challenge flyer for more details.

Clean Lakes Festival Barefoot Challenge is this Saturday!

The preparations are well underway, and the weatherman is predicting incredible weather for this weekend. (Mid-eighties on Saturday, and upper-sixties for the race on Sunday morning)

Monona Bay is free of weeds this year, and MasterCraft Boats will be pulling the event. We are getting confirmations and early registrations from quite a few footers so it looks like it is going to be bigger and better than ever.

Here is a link to most of the info you will need (this includes the Registration form, maps to the location, and misc information):

Here is the agenda:

I will be setting up the course on Friday afternoon. We may have time for a few practice runs if time permits. As there are no weeds to cut the course through, I anticipate that the course setup will go fairly smoothly, so we should have a little time Friday afternoon for some warmup runs.


Meet and Greet at Chasers 7:00 PM. Chasers will be having food and drink specials for the competitors.


We will open Registration at 8AM. The official start is 10 AM, but we would like to get started earlier. Registration will close at 9:30 AM. As we are anticipating more participants this year, please print out the registration form from the website and have a check PAYABLE TO : Redline or cash. Day of Race Registration will be $50 Pre-Registration is $45. If you participate in both the Figure 8 and the Race, the fee will stay at $55

**You will also need to be a member of USA WaterSki. We will have forms available, but it would be much easier if you do it online ahead of time.

They no longer offer a $10 Temporary Membership, but they have added a Grass Roots Active Membership for $35 that will work for all of the Figure 8 events (provided they are sanctioned as Grass Root Events, which most are. Please print out your membership card and have that available at registration. The Membership is good for 1 year from the date of registration. (THIS IS MANDATORY FOR INSURANCE PURPOSES – NO ONE WILL BE ALLOWED TO SKI WITHOUT PROOF OF USA WATERSKI MEMBERSHIP)

Here is the link to USA Waterski:

The Figure 8 on Saturday morning will start no later than 10 AM. I’d love to be started at 9:30. We hope to be finished by 5:00PM. At that time, everyone is invited to go over to the Clean Lakes Festival at Olin Park, which is about 1 mile away. There will be a beer tent and food available, as well as live music, and other events.


Rumor has it, there will also be a couple of private parties near Lake Waubesa, the sight of the Sunday Morning Barefoot Race. Details to be announced on Saturday.


We will meet at the Beach House, McFarland, WI at 6:30 AM for a 7:00 AM race Boats will be provided, but if anyone has a boat that we can use, please let me know. Depending on how many people can get up that early, we are expecting a good turnout for the race, so we may need an extra boat or two. I’m still waiting on confirmation of getting a boat from the Mad-City Ski Team.

After the race, we will meet back at the Beach House for breakfast. They have awesome walleye and eggs, or omelets with homemade hollandaise sauce.


  • Lodging: There are a number of hotels in the area. Several of the local participants have offered up places to stay as well, so call Bob Mahnke or Paul Stokes on Friday if you need lodging.
  • Clean Lakes Cleanup: If anyone is going to be around on Friday afternoon or Saturday Morning, we are going to organize a cleanup of the floating debris along the shore. We want guys in barefoot suits or Clean Lakes T-shirts cleaning up the area. We are going to take a few pictures to show that barefooters like Clean Lakes as well! I’ll have a few rakes and garbage bags on hand.
  • T-shirts: Be sure and buy the inaugural Clean Lakes Barefoot Challenge T-shirt. They are $20, and proceeds will go to the prize money as well as the Figure 8 Barefoot Series. This T-shirt is sure to be a collectors item. Make sure you support our sponsors as well.


  • Bob Mahnke – (608) 695-6673 mobile
  • Paul Stokes – (608) 333-6584 mobile

Best Dam Barefoot Race 2010 Results

The results are in for the 2010 Best Dam Barefoot Race held earlier today (May 15, 2010).

After lots of wind in 2007, a little less wind in 2008, then way too much wind in 2009, so much that they delayed the race by a day only to run it in 40 degree temperatures, the weather gods finally smiled on the race as weather was near perfect in Beaver Dam, WI. At race time, the temperature was near 60 degrees, is was partly sunny and just enough breeze to let you know that there was wind. The lake behind Dawn & Woody’s Moonlight Bar was nearly glass.

waiting for the horn to sound

Shortly after 11am, the boats idled out to the starting line and about 11:10am, the horn sounded and the 5 boats took off with their barefooters in tow.  In two falls that likely impacted the final results, Aaron Schoezl, a past Footstock Figure-8 Champion, fell on his deep water start. One other footer also quickly fell, but their identity was a mystery to those of us on shore (update – per Mike Miller in a comment below, it was Mark Mahan that fell.)

and they’re off

And with that, the boats disappeared behind the point as they raced northeast towards the far end of the lake. After about 8 minutes, we heard from one of the spotter boats that the first wave of footers were passing them. About 15 minutes into the race, we heard from the turn-a-round boat that four boats were already on their way back towards the finish.

As the race timer ticked towards the 27 minute mark, we could hear the roar of some of the boat motors as they raced back towards the finish line. As the timer crossed 27 minutes, the first boat, Team Mahnke, appeared past the point and raced across the finish line with a time of 27:12.

As the winners fished their final footer out of the water and cracked open their first celebratory beers, another boat, Team Mahan, made it’s appearance around the point, turning towards the finish line, when their footer fell. They quickly turned the boat around and put the handle back in the footer’s hands as another boat, Barefoot Central’s Team, appeared from behind the point. Team Mahan with their footer on the end of the rope, quickly took off towards the line, finishing with a time of 28:13 and they were followed quickly by Barefoot Central with a time of 28:24. The fourth boat, Hotfooters, finished 49 seconds later with a time of 29:13.

Team Manke enjoying their celebratory beers

After a 22 mile race, the top four teams were separated by a mere 2:01.

Back to the falls from the beginning of the race… Aaron Schoezl’s team, took 3rd behind the Mahan Team by 11 seconds. If Aaron or Mark don’t fall, they both likely contending for first. The initial pickup probably cost them about 45 seconds, maybe  a little more, maybe a little less. Those falls put them about a minute behind the eventual winners.

Update: One last note… Team Mahnke was also hampered by an 8-cylinder engine running on what they thought was 6, so they didn’t have nearly the speed that they are use to. It was fine for the initial start, but after that, they just couldn’t get the same speed. Even with the handicap, they were still able to win the race.

Here the the final standings after the race:

  1. Team Manke – 27:12 (Bob Mahnke, Luke Bruchner, Chad Mietz, Paul Stokes, Mark Donahue)
  2. Team Mahan – 28:13 (Mark Mahan, Rob Christenson, Chris McWaters, John Debelak, Mike Miller)
  3. Barefoot Central – 28:24 (Chris Van Zealand, Aaron Schoezl, Scoot Reed, Lucas Twelemeyer, Jamie Kumlien)
  4. Hotfooters – 29:13 (Mike Peterson, Gary Slawny, Dan Weinberger, Marci Holtz, Dave Strobel)
  5. Team Hughes – 44:22 (Tommy Schmidt, Andy W., Shane Hughes, Chad Behl, Tyler Sweeney)

recapping their races to each other

Best Dam Barefoot Race is Saturday, May 15

Just got off the phone (yes people do call me and let me know about events) and found out that the Best Dam Barefoot Race will be taking place on Saturday, May 15 on Beaver Dam Lake in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. It’ll be a 22 mile relay race for teams of 4 or 5 footers.

Last year the weather didn’t cooperate on Saturday (just a tad bit windy) and on Sunday when the ran the rice, although it was very sunny, the actually temperature was way cold (we’re talking 30’s). Hopefully, the weather cooperates a bit more this year.

More details on registration and cost will be coming soon.

Best Dam Barefoot Race is on for 2009!

The Best Dam Barefoot Race is on!  I spoke with T-Bell, the race organizer tonight, and she confirmed that the race will occur this year. They decided to push the race date back one week so it will be the Saturday after Mother’s Day weekend (May 16th). The water should be ever so slightly warmer and we’ll no longer need to deal with being “exhausted” on Mother’s Day.  Be sure to check back here for more details.  I’ll have them as soon as they are announced.

Start training now for the 22 miles of fun pain torture racing excitement.  Get your team’s together now!

Music City River Run Results?

Anyone know what happened down in Nashville this weekend?  Been looking around bet haven’t seen anything yet.  Tried Barefoot Endurance Racing, who announced the event, but didn’t see anything up there and also tried the forums on BFC but came up dry.

If you know the results, drop me a note at wedge [at] or just drop a comment on this post.

Update 10/20 @ 955 pm CDT – Based on the comments below, there were two divisions…

  • Inboard Division – 50 Miles – Won by Team Rum Runners –  Don Simon, Todd Fipps, Doug Roufinauf, and Mark
  • Ski Pros – 100 Miles – Won by Team Top Gun 
There are a few more details in the comments below.  They mention some stories from the race and I’m hoping they send some my way.

Music City River Run – Oct 18, 2008

The boys of Barefoot Endurance Racing on ning have announced the details of the 3rd Annual Music City River Run.  The endurance race takes place on Saturday, October 18th.

Sounds like they are doing two versions of the race this time…  one version will be the relatively normal 25 mile variety.  The other version will be 100 miles.  For more details, click the link above to check out the ning site.  Here’s the entry form with a bunch of details and here’s a link to the BFC forum with some discussion on the race.

Best Dam Barefoot Race… The BFC Recap

Work and getting my ski team on the water has been keeping me busy, but I did see the recap posted by Barefoot Central written by Aaron Schoelzel. There are some good details on how the race went between the 3 boats at the front of the race. Be sure to check it out for details about just how close the race was. And yes, my team was one of the teams throwing up rollers for leaders to go through on their way back to the finish-start line.

They also have a couple videos in their recap… the first has interviews with the top 3 teams…

Download Best Dam Top 3

The second video has 8 minutes of them chatting in the car on the way to the race, but watch the end for the interview with Teri Bell, one of the race organizers (with her sister Sandy singing in the background) and some other late night antics at the bar. Be warned, look away at the end…

Download Best Dam Antics Start 8 Minuts In

Finally, over at Barefoot Racing Endurance, there’s a little more insight from Viper who was on the 2nd place team. Here’s what he wrote about the race…

From my point of view – an incredible race: very fast, almost no mistakes. There were 7 lead changes – Jim Devens laid the early pace at 49-50 mph. Once Jim dropped out it was Tony and I within a boat length to the end of the lake, around the turn and back a 1/4 mile. Once Tony went down, I asked for all the speed the driver would give me for another mile.

Here’s where the only mistake there was in the race – when I signalled for the transition the handle slipped out of my hand. This led to a slow transition which allowed Ace in the Hole to pass us and get back in the lead.

A1 put down an impressive run. Just a couple miles in, Chuck caught a toe and went down putting MVS back in front. Ace’s next footer ran very hot closing some of the distance so we picked up the pace to 51+. When the 3rd Ace footer transitioned, MVS transitioned. The rest of the way we transitioned together with MVS running about 20 seconds ahead. Unfortunately, we had one transition remaining. So with a deep sigh, we made the final transition less then 1/4 from the finish putting in Mike Schnieder. Ace passed us during that transition and cruised in for the win.

Pavestone was right there only 1 minute back. Definitely their best showing and sending a message that they will be a force come this fall.

Disappointing for us, but a great battle.

Definitely want to see the video from Pavestone.

– Viper